That Time I Accidentally Anointed Myself with Joy

We were coming up on the one year anniversary of Vince's terminal brain cancer diagnosis. Last week had been a hard, sad week, and this week promised more of the same. Too many memories. Too much remembering the day that just one year before had been my worst nightmare coming true…




I was yearning for some help moving through the sadness and the deep grief. I had been praying. I had done a lot of sitting in the comfy chair in my room looking out the window.

The thought came to me… How about some essential oil in the diffuser?

Okay, God. Which oil?

Before I go on, a little background seems fitting. There is this Young Living essential oil blend called Joy. It's full of lovely oils. When I first got it, I didn't like the smell at all. It's very strong and flowery. I tried diluting it in sweet almond oil, and that was nice. Sometimes I even wear it as perfume. But I have never put it in the diffuser. If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, a diffuser is used to put essential oil in the air. You put water in the machine, then add six or eight drops of essential oil, turn it on, and loveliness permeates the room.




So on this sad day, it came to me that I should try putting this essential oil blend, Joy, into the diffuser. I had a free bottle coming with my order, so I would have plenty to be able to put that much in the diffuser and not worry about running out of that oil.

I don't know if that was God whispering to me or not. Either way, He sure used that moment of decision for me.

I put Joy in my diffuser and turned it on. Loveliness abounded into the air. Strong, but lovely. My littlest daughter came into my bedroom, where I was attempting to write, and remarked on the aroma in the air. "It smells so good in here, Momma."

And she was right.




It was lovely, and I ran the diffuser for about 20 minutes. The loveliness of Joy lingered in the air in my bedroom all afternoon. And it did help me in moving through my sadness a bit.

Hours later, it finally came to my bedtime. My older children– college students plus the 14 year old– were just beginning to think of bed as well.

I was moving things around in my bedroom and preparing to climb into bed when it happened…


I have an old trunk in my room that serves as a table near my bed. It has a small shelf of books that runs across a portion of the top, then there is a wicker box with a book laying flat on top of it. There was a small wire basket of thank you cards sitting on top of that basket and book. It had been languishing there for a few weeks, waiting for me to have enough emotional energy to write a few thank you notes.




Suddenly, that little wire basket decided to slide right off the book. Mind you, I was nowhere near it. I hadn't touched anything near the trunk and basket. I have no idea why it was sitting there happily for weeks and then in that moment decided to fall over and slam right into my diffuser full of water and Joy.

Yes, you read that right. And all the essential oil users who have ever spilled a diffuser full of water and oil are now coming unglued…

About a half a cup of oil-infused water poured all over my leather trunk, the papers laying on the corner, and down onto the floor.

Teenagers heard my cry, identified the noise, and went running for towels.

The smell in the room was more than loveliness. Joy is such a strong, full-of-flower-smell oil when it's not diluted with carrier oil! It permeated the whole room. Even after everything was clean and dry, I wasn't sure I would be able to sleep in the room. The smell was so strong, there was so much essential oil in the air… even if I could fall asleep I was afraid that the oil would make me detox, and I would wake up with a headache and feeling sick. In the end, I didn't feel settled about sleeping on the couch either, so I slept in my bed in the room that was pretty much anointed in Joy.




It was a strange night of sleep.

I woke several times in the night. My mouth tasted of essential oil, rather like Joy smells. I had vivid dreams all night. It seemed that each time I woke, it was from a dream rather than just from sleep.


When I finally woke for the morning, I felt better. I felt a little less sad. I felt a little more ready to face the day than I had for the previous week.

Now, I don't know if this was a happy plan set in motion by God or not. But maybe, just maybe, I really did need anointed with Joy in a very extreme way.

Either way, God used it to help me face the couple of days before Vince's diagnosis anniversary… the remembrance of the day our nightmare began.

I guess you could say that on the day that I could not chase joy, instead joy chased me.



One thought on “That Time I Accidentally Anointed Myself with Joy

  1. I have knocked over my diffuser full of water and Stress Away. Thinking back on it, it was a bummer start to some lovely time with my teens while they helped me clean it up. Glad you are finding beauty in this hard season and seeing God’s gentle hand in your experiences.

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